A cache is a collection of files or data that are stored on your computer so that future requests of the same files or data can be served much faster. When we talk about clearing cache on Windows 11 or Windows 10, it depends what cache you want to clear because there are many types of caches that can be stored on Windows as you use your computer.
The most common cache on Windows are the temporary files cache, memory (RAM) cache, and browser cache (Chrome, Edge or Firefox). These cache files are often the culprit of your computer slow problem or insufficient hard disk space issue. For best practice, users should clear these cache on Windows 11/10 every once in a while.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to quickly clear each of the mentioned caches on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 laptop or desktop PC.
How to clear cache (temp files) on Windows 11/10
Windows will create temporary files when you create, modify or open a file or a program on your computer or from the internet in a folder often known as the “Temp” folder. Most temporary files will be removed when it’s no longer needed. However, some temp files tend to stay in the folder indefinitely due to improper handling of temp files in certain apps or programs. Thus, clearing the temp files may often save you a big amount of disk space.
If you are worried if it’s safe to delete the temp files, don’t be. It’s completely fine and harmless to delete and clear the folder. When a temp file is needed, Windows will simply create another again. To clear the temporary files cache on Windows 11/10, follow the steps below.
- Press Win + R keys on your keyboard to open the Run window.
- Type %temp% in the “open” field and click OK. Doing so will open the Temp folder.
- To clear all the temporary files cache, press CTRL + A to select all the files and folder in the temp folder.
- Then, press Shift + Delete to permanently delete them.
Side note: You can also type %temp% directly on the start menu search box or Cortana to open the temp folder without going through the Run window.
Alternatively, you can clear the temporary files from the Disk Cleanup tool on Windows 10/11. By using the disk cleanup tool, you can also clear other cache that may have been clogging up such as recycle bin, thumbnails, Windows error reports and feedback, etc. To do so, follow the steps below.
- Open This PC.
- Right-click on the main HDD where you store your Windows installation (usually the C: drive), then select Properties.
- Under General tab, click on the Disk Cleanup button.
- In the Disk Cleanup window, under files to delete option, select Temporary files and whichever else cache files that you would like to delete, then click OK.
How to clear memory or RAM cache on Windows 11/10
If you notice an obvious slow down on your computer because the RAM is being used up so much that it’s near to hitting its limit, it could be due to Windows using too much RAM as cache. It will even cause errors such as insufficient RAM or out of memory issue when you run a program.
When you run a program or a game, Windows will use part of your RAM as cache for faster and smoother access to that particular program or game. However, when you close the program, the RAM taken as cache often are not cleared. These cached memory will then become inactive memory or RAM in standby mode until the next time you open the program again.
You can have a look at how much RAM are currently in cached from the Task Manager. Simply open Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Then, click on the Performance tab. You can see the total cached memory under Cached as shown in the screenshot below.
If you don’t like how RAM are cached even after you’ve closed a program or a game, you can clear it with a well known exe program called EmptyStandbyList.exe. It’s a simple program that empty the standby lists, hence, clearing the RAM cache on Windows 11/10.
Before we begin, I know sometimes we have doubt if it’s safe to download unknown program and run it on the computer, especially when it’s an exe program. It is indeed the right thinking when it comes to downloading, installing and running things on your computer. Although I can assure you it’s a fine program as long as it’s downloaded from the suggested link below, I suggest you to do some research on the EmptyStandbyList.exe program on reddit or other forums to see if it’s legit. However, you should proceed at your own risk.
- Download EmptyStandbyList.exe from:
- Once downloaded, place it on your desktop for quick access in the future. To run it, right-click it and then select Run as administrator.
- As soon as it’s run, it will immediately clear all the RAM cache on Windows. Check on the cached RAM value on Task Manager to see how much RAM is cleared now.
- The executable only clear your RAM cache once. You will have to run it again when your RAM cache becomes too much again, or whenever you see fit.
EmptyStandbyList.exe can only work when you run it as administrator. To save you the hassle from having to right-click and select run as admin every time you want to run it, you can set it to run as administrator by default. To do so, right-click it and select Properties. Click on Compatibility tab and then check the checkbox that says “Run this program as an administrator“. Once set, the next time you double left-click to run the executable, it will automatically run as administrator.
How to clear browser cache for Chrome, Edge or Firefox on Windows 11/10
When you visit a website, your browser automatically save cache files such as images and other medias you see on the website. The purpose of cache files on your local computer is to be able to serve the same images and medias to you much quicker than having to download them again when you visit to the same webpage again.
As time goes on, the cached internet files can be so big that it starts to become an issue to your limited hard disk space. It’s wise to clear your browser cache every once in a while. Here’s how to clear browser cache in different browsers – mainly Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.
How to clear browser cache on Chrome
- In Google Chrome, click on the triple-dotted button in the same row as the address bar at the top right corner of Chrome’s window.
- Then, click on Settings. In the settings page, search for “cache”.
- Next, click on Clear browsing data when it shows up as a result.
- For the “Time range“, select whichever time range you prefer. If you select “last 24 hours“, it will only clear cached files store in the last 24 hours. If you want to clear all cached files that have ever saved on your PC, select “All time“.
- Select Cached images and files, then click on Clear data to clear them.
How to clear browser cache on Edge
- In Microsoft Edge, click on the three-dotted icon on the toolbar similar to where the address bar is at the top right corner of the window.
- Then, select Settings.
- In the settings page, search for “cache”.
- When the search results show up, click on the Choose what to clear button besides Clear browsing data now.
- Next, select your preferred “Time range” (usually All time if you want to clear all cache Edge ever saved).
- Slect Cached images and files, then click on Clear now.
How to clear browser cache on Firefox
- In Mozilla Firefox, click on the three-lines icon at the top right corner of the window to open Firefox’s menu.
- From the menu, select Options.
- Next, use the search box to search for “cache”.
- Click on Clear Data under Cookies and Site Data.
- Select Cached Web Content, then click on Clear to clear all cache on Firefox.